Mother hen will not mother baby but wants to stay on the nest

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kelly77, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. kelly77

    kelly77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    8
    108
    Jul 20, 2012
    Yesterday one of my hens had a chick she is not mothering it at all ..we tried to bring them both inside because it is really cold out now...the mother wants nothing to do with the baby...so I brought her back out to the coop and now she is back in her nest..content but obviously there is no egg and I have the baby in the house. I just want to make sure I am doing what is right for both of them. I just taught the baby how to eat n drink ...but how can I care for the mom so she gets off the nest?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,564
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Hens normally stay on the nest for up to 48 hours after the first chick hatches, to let the entire clutch hatch. What do you mean by she wasn't mothering it? Normally, the first hatched chick just hangs out under or close to momma. they don't need to eat or drink for the first 48 hours, they absorb that whole egg yolk just before they hatch so momma can stay on the nest.

    I'd slip the chick back under momma and let her do her thing, unless she was actively hurting it.
     
  3. aquanautscott

    aquanautscott New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Oct 22, 2012
    That is definitely a bummer, I have had a couple of stubborn broody hens, and one in particular that was quiet a challenge to get off the nest. The first time, I tried the ol' (multiple times a day) throwing her off the nest (not really that effective in my experience). The second "trick" I tried was to set her backside in cool water for a minute or so (cools the cloaca, which breaks her of her desire to sit on the nest I guess). That actually worked the first time this hen went broody with just 3 times in a single day. The next time though she didn't respond to this so, I was told by an old farmer to soak her up to her neck for a minute in cool water and then a quick full dunk and then not allow her to return to the nest so that she has to lay out to dry and what not ( this worked the second time in only 2 days, two dunks a day). The next time she went broody, she didn't respond to her water treatment so I then was told to build a small cage/coop where she has to perch and doesn't have the option to sit on a nest (this worked in couple of days). And finally I have let hens just stop on there own time (usually a molt will snap them out of it) and just make sure they are getting a bit of food and water a few times a day. The water treatment really is not advised in most places this time of year since your hen may catch cold.
    The baby chick is tough; I think i would try a few times to slip the chick underneath the mama as long as mama wasn't trying to peck the chick. I just know how much of a pain (literally for some of the chickens) it is to introduce a new pullet into a flock that hasn't been raised up by one of the hens. But if the mama really is rejecting the chick, once it has gotten some of its true feathers I would section off part of the coop and have a daily introduction with the other hens. I dunno, just my 2 cents. Hope it helps a little.

    Best of Luck,
    Scott
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  4. kelly77

    kelly77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    8
    108
    Jul 20, 2012
    We only had 1 chick..my boyfriend slipped one last egg under a broody . I have tried a few times now and even slipped the chick under her at night. I noticed instinctively the mother is making the clucking noises to bring her chick to the food but then when the chick comes to eat momma pecks her real hard. The chick was very scared to be around her and came right to me. Momma just keeps going to other nesting boxes looking for eggs to sit on and she is real mean biting me when I try to get the eggs. She never associated that the baby chick came from the egg. I now am taking care of the chick
    [​IMG]
     
  5. kelly77

    kelly77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    8
    108
    Jul 20, 2012
    I think we are going to have a house chicken
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by